Administrators in the Meridian school district look at several scenarios, none of them great for filling a $2 million budget hole. A property tax referendum is part of it, but not guaranteed. That's got board members preparing for the worst.
"If we do nothing if we don't do the referendum if we don't do the cuts we run out of money to make payroll rather quickly." -says board president Bruce Larson.
Committee members recommend $1 million in cuts. They'll present that to the full board February 28th, but even those cuts won't be enough if the referendum is voted down.
"We're also going to have to take out working cash bonds." -he says.
Larson can safely say there will be staffing cuts, he doesn't know how many or who yet.
"We're hoping that a lot of it can be made up with people who are retiring and not refilling those positions." -he explains.
Board members have promised the public to unveil which cuts will be made both if the property tax referendum passes and if it doesn't. They haven't started the list yet. It'll be presented March 4th.
"We will be conducting a public hearing and hearing from the public their arguments for or against cutting one thing or another."
You might remember another controversy in the district we've been following, the resignation of Meridian's two top administrators. Board members said weeks ago they would release a statement. Larson says, after talking with attorneys, they're close to giving that out.
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